Saturday, December 31, 2011
This is the stage being set up for Dublin's official New Year's Eve celebration on College Green. There are lots of events going on over the weekend, with full details available on nyedublin.ie.
There was quite a bit of discussion during 2011 of converting the College Green branch of Bank of Ireland into a cultural centre. I think that's quite unlikely to happen, at least for now, but it's interesting to see the building used for an event like today's. I wonder if the Bank are heading off the possible demand for such a conversion of use by co-operating in providing support for events? And to speculate further, is College Green starting to function as Dublin's main street or main square? O'Connell Street's recent makeover hasn't really changed its character; College Green by contrast was the setting for Barack Obama's address to the Irish people.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Happy Christmas everyone.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
It's the week before Christmas, and all through the city.... there are seasonal events a-plenty. Earlier in the week I was in Christ Church for the very beautiful service of Nine Lessons and Carols. There are markets and funfairs and shop windows to look at and about a zillion different Santas to visit. For a different seasonal experience, though, you might want to think of taking a trip out of the city, to Meath, and visiting the ancient monument that is Newgrange. I visited yesterday to catch a different flavour of the seasonal mood.
The event of the Solstice morning, when the light hits the inner chamber, is well known,although the event itself may not be very well seen or not seen at all, if the weather is bad, as it often is in this country. Entry to the Solstice event is strictly regulated and participants are chosen by lottery every year. Visitors can fill out lottery forms at the visitors' centre. What I hadn't known before my visit yesterday is that the event is not restricted to one single day, but happens every morning for a period of about six days around the Solstice. The lottery winners are assigned a particular dawn over that period, and they may or may not get lucky.
It had been over fifteen years since my previous visit and much had changed. All access to the monument is now through the visitors' centre, although I understand this is relaxed on mornings around Solstice. The beautiful visitors' centre itself is very worth seeing. It is designed to fit in to the landscape and this makes it look like an extended Hobbit hole, with earth roofs and outside access on different levels.
The visitors' centre contains a Brambles cafe (reliable if pricey), a rather poor gift shop and an exhibition of the history of Newgrange and the people associated with it. Not being an expert, I can't judge how historically accurate the exhibition was and how much of it is speculative in order to provide a better experience to the visitor. Nonetheless, it was interesting and beautifully put together.
The ticket to see the monument/s (in addition to Newgrange you can also go see Knowth, for extra cost) include the entry to the exhibition. In order to see the monuments, you need to take a shuttle bus, across the Boyne from the visitors' centre. The trip to Newgrange takes about five minutes. At the monument, you are met by your guide, who talks to you about the site and then brings you inside. I was very pleased with our guide emphasising that despite all the theories out there, nobody knows for certain what exactly the purpose of the monument was.
The passage into the inner chamber is very narrow, to the point at which I had to turn sideways as my shoulders were too wide to pass through. Inside, the lights were turned off in order to simulate the entry of the beam of light at Solstice, but at this point there was a surprise. The guide told us that the beam of pale white light on the floor was natural, that around the days of Solstice, the ambient sunlight outside is enough to produce a ghostly impression of the Solstice event. The event itself would, of course, be much stronger and brighter, but nonetheless, he noted that what we saw in the afternoon was better than what the Solstice group had seen at that dawn.
Once back at the visitors' centre, I filled in a lottery form for the 2012 Solstice. Hey, you never know.
Information about access, cost and opening times on Heritage Ireland
Monday, December 19, 2011
My standout single production of the year was The Abbey's brilliant production of Pygmalion.
On Open House weekend in October, my favourite tour was Leinster House, which is of course open all year round to visitors.
I saw a few musicals this year and it's a toss up between Riverdance and Mamma Mia as to which I enjoyed more. Of course they are entirely different. One thing's for sure though, the Peter Pan musical was the worst I've seen in a long time!
Other things I loved in Dublin this year, which deserve mentions are L Mulligan Grocer, Dublin Bikes (which encouraged me to buy one of my own this year) and the now up and running architecture walking tours.
I look forward to a whole new year of culture (with bonus avoiding the European Cup) next year.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
So many Christmas markets! As well as Temple Bar, Docklands, and Christ Church Cathedral, one of the other choices you have today is 7 Up Winter Wonderland in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Unlike those other markets I've mentioned this event has a lot more to it than just a market: there's an ice rink, circus, Santa Claus, and various rollercoaster-type rides.
And thank goodness, because the market part of Winter Wonderland isn't anything special, certainly not worth a visit for its own sake. The food and drink is quite... germanic, like a poor (but pricey) imitation of Oktoberfest. I happen to like German food, but not everyone does.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Cathedral is a beautiful setting and well suited to this sort of event. Here's (part of) what Christ Church say about the concert:
Sing along with old favorites such as O Come, All Ye Faithful, be inspired by glorious choral gems such as Good King Wenceslas and Silent Night, and top it all off by singing some popular and beloved choruses from Handel’s Messiah along with the sterling voices of the Cathedral Choir.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Winter Solstice at The Complex is an ancient celebration in tune with ancestral traditions, for this unique time in the turning of the seasons. Blending ceremonies inclusive of all peoples with feasting, trading, entertainment and community. Join us at this uplifting energising event in the heart of Dublin’s old market centre, Smithfield Square.
Parts of the event look a bit - what's the polite term? - "New Age", and mightn't be to everyone's taste. But I'm guessing that it'll be a fun evening.
The event is free. Under 15s must be accompanied.
Monday, December 12, 2011
The Docklands Christmas Market is open every day until 23rd December from noon on weekdays and 10:00 on weekends until 20:00.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
If you've been to the market before you'll find the stalls back where they were before the move. There are stalls selling bread, hot food, coffee, cheese, oysters, fruit, olives, chocolate, and so on. It's one of the nicest food markets around and reasonably priced considering the central location. The market runs from 10 am to around 4 pm (or perhaps a little later) each Saturday.
I'm pleasantly surprised by how bright the market is even with the coverings deployed.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Making of 'Tis Pity She’s a Whore. This performance combines film and stage, inspired by the play 'Tis Pity She’s a Whore.
Six Characters In Search of an Author also starts tonight, performed by Dublin Youth Theatre and directed by Jason Byrne. The play was written decades ago by Luigi Pirandello and its concept is as described in the name - six characters abandoned by their playwright demand the chance to tell their story.
As a general rule, I'm quite wary of films or plays about films or plays. Project Arts Centre though tends to do a good job of choosing its plays so I hope I'm wrong and that both of these production prove successful.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Big Smoke Writing Factory are proud to announce the return of their ever popular Literary Café! Always the highlight of the Big Smoke calendar, this event is set to take place on Sunday December 4th from 2 to 5pm in the ideal surroundings of The Loft Bookshop, The Twisted Pepper Building, 54 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Start the festive season in style with a wonderfully relaxing afternoon featuring readings from our students, mulled wine and plenty
of Christmas cheer. Be the first to meet some fantastic emerging Dublin writers and hear all the exciting new work happening at the
Big Smoke Writing Factory.
As always this event is FREE and open to everyone. We look forward to seeing you there!
I enjoyed the last Literary Cafe I was at, in Ormond Wine Bar. It was quite popular so I expect that the Loft Bookshop - a smaller venue - could be quite crowded.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Roddy Doyle's new version doesn't change the setting, time, Russian names or story. He has updated the language (which of course is in English) and given everyone Irish accents. The provincials all have Irish country accents and the young fop, Khlestakov, played with a flourish by Ciarán O'Brien and his servant, Osip, have Dublin accents. As a Russian speaker, it is hilarious to hear a culchie accent say names like Piotr Ivanovich and Amos Fyodorovich. The new dialogue is littered with references to a modern bankrupt Ireland with brown envelopes, mental reservations and economic terms being bandied about. And needless to say, a huge amount of laughs.
The opening scene, where all the town officials gather around a long narrow table, somehow reminded me of RTÉ's Primetime. The action centres around the mayor, played brilliantly by Don Wycherley. He bumbles, he stutters, he bribes, and at one stage climbs the set. A joy to watch. I also want to single out Damian Kearney as the Postmaster with a particulary amusing delivery of his lines. There's a lot of physical comedy in this play and the set was designed for it. However, the stark industrial look of the stage, filled with rubbish bags was the least attractive feature of the whole production. For me, a slightly more traditional and less utilitarian stage would have gone down better.
The program deserves a paragraph all of its own. It contains a cutout cartoon drawn by Martyn Turner of the Irish Times. I have loved all the recent programs from The Abbey but this one is the best. It features sketches for the costumes, lots of backstage photos and all the usual bits.
My evening's companion very much wished to be featured in the review. She loved it as much as I did and felt that there was a certain sense of familiarity here with Roddy Doyle's version of The Playboy of the Western World. Both plays feature an interloper and mistaken identity.
The Government Inspector runs until 28th January, so you've ages to get around to seeing it. I promise it'll be worth your while.
There are also several food stalls outside in the open air.
As an aside, I was delighted to see a display in the crypts showing costumes from the TV series The Tudors. Parts of the series were shot in Christ Church, and I had the interesting experience of being an Extra for the day.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Every Saturday & Sunday leading up to the main event, they have a Christmas food market running from 10am to 5pm. There's storytelling, a festive crib (what would a non-festive crib include, I wonder? The one in our house always had a rhinoceros in it since my 2 year old brother decided he was a farm animal) and other kid-friendly events going each day too. Most Sundays will feature some kind of carol singers, with various different groups participating. 6 different days of activities, you've no excuse not to get down there.
Full details are here.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
In the past I have also usually visited during the weekend days, so I was expecting crowds to be thinner. All the same, the halls were busy, which on a weekday afternoon in recessionary times was very good to see. All three halls were still in place: two dedicated to crafts and design, and one to food, although I did get a feeling that the two smaller halls had more space around stalls than in previous years.
Tibetan Buddhist Thangkas (painted textiles depicting Buddhist scenes) and Japanese ukiyo-e (wood-block prints). Through almost benign neglect, it was stored and ignored for several decades until Audrey got her hands on it. The permanent exhibition opened in the Barracks in 2008 and this book is the result of several years research by Audrey. She not only documents the collection but goes into the backdrop of how the museum ended up with it. It's beautifully photographed as well.
The book was launched last night in the Barracks by Roisín Ingle of the Irish Times and is on sale now in the Museum Book shop.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The proper review:
It's a 2 person play, done in monologues. Often, I do not enjoy this sort of play. This was not often. It grabs you by the throat from the opening lines and doesn't let go. My attention didn't waver, I wasn't distracted by the audience or the rigging, etc. Both actors, Laoisa Sexton and Michael Mellamphy, were brilliant. I'm only sorry I didn't hear Laoisa's real accent because her inner city Dublin accent was spot on, down to nuance and facial expression and there was a moment where she did another Irish accent so perfectly. John Paul Murphy's script is tight and funny, in a Roddy Doyle-laughing at your own misfortune way. I actually wondered how it played with American audiences - remember how they allegedly issued a glossary when they screened The Committments?
Yes, I may have really enjoyed this play. It runs for about an hour and a half and there's no interval, so don't drink too much beforehand!
Friday, November 25, 2011
Christ Church Cathedral Christmas Market
Saturday 26 November & 3, 10 & 17 December
Christ Church Cathedral is delighted to announce the return of its popular Christmas Market following its phenomenal success last year. The market, now in its second year, benefits from an impressive, unique location in the atmospheric 12th Century crypt of the Cathedral, the oldest structure in Dublin.
The Christmas Market will run for 4 dates this Christmas over 4 consecutive Saturdays, beginning on the 26th November and will continue on the 3rd, 10th & 17th December. Trading times will be 11am-4pm.
The Christmas Market is held indoors in the 12th Century crypt, with a total of 15 stalls creating an intimate festive shopping experience and will feature
Arts, Crafts, Jewellery and craft stalls including those by up and coming Irish designers. This year there will also be food stalls outside in the Cathedral grounds and entry to the market will be free.
I dropped by last year. It's strikingly odd to see stalls in the crypt, with people sitting around eating, drinking tea and coffee, and of course shopping. A most snow-proof concept.
Dublintellectual Invite You To....
"All the Pieces Matter": A Night of The Wire
20:00, Friday 25th Nov
Block T, Smithfield
Francis Halsall, NCAD: "Social Systems in The Wire"
Niall Heffernan, UCC: "It's all in the Game: Game Theory in The Wire"
Barry Shanahan, UCD: "Authenticity and Representation in The Wire"
Daniel Fitzpatrick: ""The City as Body in Deadwood and The Wire"
Screening of a Mystery Episode
Followed by Music Inspired by The Wire
BYOB, Admission €5
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Starting today the RHA is about to host an exhibition of Irish craft:
For the first time, the Crafts Council of Ireland will hold an exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in Dublin. A selection of work from Irish Craft Portfolio 2011 will showcase contemporary work by some of Ireland’s most internationally-recognised makers.
Opens: 6pm, Thursday November 24, 2011
Where: RHA Gallery, Ely Place, Dublin 2
Exhibition Runs: November 24 – November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Here are the theatre company's descriptions of the two pieces:
The Applicant: Rachel needs Ian to have a winning smile. Ian doesn’t really care as long as he gets the job, or better still gets with Rachel. An absurd comedy that slaps in the face of recession!
Voices in the Rubble: Avril thinks she just killed the postman; then again it could be a case of mistaken identity. An absurdist comedy that pushes the boundaries of conventional marriage!
You can buy tickets over on entertainment.ie.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Smitten' by Anna Stillaman and Mark Matthews
In Smitten we find ourselves privy to a disturbing world lurking beneath the mask of normality in suburbia. The play starts somewhat innocently with two people who meet one stormy night. However, all is not what it seems, as each of them is hiding a deep secret... all will be revealed!
Directed by Karen Maher
‘Can't Stand Up for Falling Down' by Richard Cameron
Three women, Lynette, Ruby and Jodie, all from the same village, tell us about their lives now and in the past and how one man has had a profound effect on each of them. Their interweaving stories build to a climax which unites them against his brutish behaviour.
Directed by Emily Maher
Tickets €15 (concessions €12) are available at the door, or by emailing in advance latouche.bookings at gmail.com
The venue is the Teachers' Club, Parnell Square.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
|Photo by Ros Kavanagh, courtesy of The Abbey|
I just want to mention briefly that the Abbey's Christmas production is The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol. It's a new version by Roddy Doyle. I studied this in college so I'm really excited to see it and will have a review for our readers soon after it opens. It starts previews next week and runs until the end of January.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
No Drama are an amateur theatre company who have previously had success with plays such as Ecstasy and Wyrd Sisters. Resurrection Blues is an altogether tougher challenge. Set in a fictional Latin American country ruled by a military dictator, the play is a satire about a captured political prisoner who might or might not be the second coming of Christ. Rather than presenting us directly with the experiences of this Christ-like revolutionary, the play tells us his story through other characters. There's the country's dictator, General Felix Barriaux (Patrick O'Callaghan) and his relatives; an American TV crew; a follower of the messianic protagonist; and of course the omni-present military.
The opening monologue by Janine (Maria Dillon) is one of the best scenes of the play. Henri (David Ryan), the dictator's cousin, also has some wonderful lines; his conversation with American TV producer Skip (Ruairí De Burca) is right at the heart of the play, presenting not only two utterly different views of the world but also looking at the similarities between ancient myth and modern PR as forms of belief.
The characters' accents are something of a puzzle though. Janine and Emily (Sarah Moloney) are both played with accents; other characters much less so. I'm not sure if that's a deliberate choice - is Henri's lack of accent due to his education and travels? - or an inconsistency.
A more serious criticism is that at times the play feels lacking in pace and engagement. I don't think that's due to the production, it's the play itself. Miller's characters' seem intentionally archetypal or even absurd rather than emotionally credible. Their purpose seems to be to create a discussion; their actions are ineffective. The play is an intellectually interesting commentary on our world, and on belief: despite having an element of comedy, partly provided by the background action, this is a play for the head, not the heart.
The previous No Drama plays I've seen have been excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed (and recommended) both. Resurrection Blues is more complicated: this play is challenging not only for the theatre company but also for the audience. At times, it felt as if members of the audience weren't sure how to react - should we be laughing or horrified? (Perhaps that's how Miller would have wanted it.) If you're looking purely for a traditional narrative and easy laughs this isn't the play for you. On the other hand if you enjoy mulling over an insightful and unusual play, this is worth seeing.
Resurrection Blues continues until Saturday 19th November in the Teachers Club on Parnell Square. Doors open at 7:45 pm and the play starts at 8 pm, running for about 150 minutes including a 15 minute interval. (There's a nice, well-stocked bar.) Tickets cost €12.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Axis are giving away a couple of tickets to the show. There's a question, as with all good competitions. Google should help you with the answer, which you should send to John O'Brien.
What New York Theatre did The Prophet of Monto have its world premiere in?
The Prophet of Monto runs from 29th November to 3rd December and you can book tickets now.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
One of the stalls is The Temple Oyster Bar, currently located on Cow's Lane. A "single shooter" is €2, but they also offer platters of oysters accompanied by soda-bread and white wine. There's a wide range of the condiments you'd expect, such as tabasco sauce and lemon.
This was my first time trying oysters. I love seafood and this was the most marine-tasting thing I've ever eaten. I liked it, although not as much as I like sushi or sashimi.
Friday, November 11, 2011
A prisoner who can walk through walls….
the mob mentality….
an American TV crew….
Could this really be the second coming of Christ?
Could we really crucify again?
No Drama Theatre follows its sell out performance of Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy with this controversial yet comical satirical production.
I very much enjoyed No Drama's previous productions so I expect this will probably also be good.
Tickets normally cost €12... but we have a pair of tickets to give away. You can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a tweet (@dublinculture). I'll edit this post once the tickets have been given away. Edit: OK folks, this offer is now closed. I'll be in touch with the winner.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Here's how the Gaiety describes it:
The Country Girls tells the story of Kate and Baba, two girls who have spent their childhood together in rural Ireland. Leaving their sheltered convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their tumultuous relationship. Kate, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love; while Baba wants to experience the life of a single girl. They set out to conquer the world together but as their lives take unexpected turns, including Kate’s romantic encounter with Mr. Gentleman, the girls must ultimately learn to find their own way.
That's a fair and accurate summary of the play, although the website also says the play is "truly contemporary". Well no, it isn't. The archetypes of the past - stern old nuns, Catholic schoolgirls, drunken fathers - are still familiar to us, but attitudes to romance and sex have quite clearly moved on, so much so that even the newer, rebellious relationships of the main characters now look dated.
Fortunately a play doesn't have to be contemporary to be good or enjoyable. The play is well cast and well acted; it's easy to empathise with the protagonist, Kate, played by Holly Browne.
It's a cliché to say I was left wanting more, but I mean it as both a compliment and criticism. I enjoyed the play, but the conclusion - for all that it made sense - felt a little underwhelming, as if it could have been the end of an act instead of an entire play. An entertaining play, but unremarkable.
The play continues until Saturday 12th November. Tickets cost from €15.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
It is superbly acted. Lovett's ability to switch from Brian to B is so great that at times I forgot he was the same actor. Moran too - the first time she switched role, I wasn't entirely sure for a minute that it was the same actress. No doubt the fact that they've been touring with the play and playing these roles for several months helps - it's a tight production which runs like clockwork.
Like most Peacock sets, it's minimal but I really liked that the actors did all the stage placement themselves - taking down furniture from hooks in the ceiling. The bland palette of sky blue and white adds to the feeling that they are in their own little world and props like a Christmas tree with its bright injection of green look almost other worldly.
Though there are many laughs, this production is at its heart intense and the subject matter is difficult, not to mention hotly disputed. From the opening lines, I was right in there and my attention did not wander during the 1.5 hours. Lines and ideas have stayed with me and it keeps coming back into my mind - that's a sign of a good performance. But don't take my word for it - see it yourself.
B for Baby runs until 19th November.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
As a bonus, the setting for the event is Block T in Smithfield. It's wonderfully shabby in a chic, comfy sort of way.
Dublintellectual and Block T invite you to "All the Pieces Matter": An Evening of The Wire
Friday 25th Nov at 20:00
BYOB, Admission €5
Francis Halsall, NCAD: "Social Systems in The Wire"
Niall Heffernan, UCC: "It's all in the Game: Game Theory in The Wire"
Barry Shanahan, UCD: "Authenticity and Representation in The Wire"
Daniel Fitzpatrick: "The City as Body in Deadwood and The Wire"
Screening of a Mystery Episode
Followed by Music Inspired by The Wire
Monday, November 7, 2011
Hot off the press release:
VENUE: National Concert Hall, Dublin
DATE: Tuesday November 8, 2011
Madeleine Peyroux, named Best International Jazz Artist at the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards, is to perform in concert in Ireland for the first time since 2007.
Peyroux (pronounced like the country Peru), who is renowned for her interpretive song skills, is best known for her stunning, gold-certified 2004 album, ‘Careless Love’. Her fifth album “Standing on the Rooftop” was released in Ireland & the UK this summer.
Tickets cost €25 to €35 and can be bought on nch.ie.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Already up and running at the moment in the Abbey Theatre is B for Baby by Theatre Lovett. I liked this when I saw it last year as part of the 2010 Dublin Theatre Festival. My review is here. The play runs until 19th November.
Monday 7th - The Smell of Want in Project Arts Centre. This dance theatre performance has already run in New York and received good reviews. Could be pretty intense, given that the website says: "Suitable ages 16+, may contain nudity. Audience members may be asked to leave at any point during the performance." Runs until 12th November.
Monday 7th - The New Theatre on East Essex St. has something a little different to the normal theatre experience, their New Writing Week. Each night this week through to Saturday 12th they have a pair of play-readings of newly-written (or at least as-yet-unperformed) scripts.
Wednesday 9th - more dance theatre in Project Arts, this time Touch Me by CoisCéim Dance Theatre. Runs until 19th November.
Friday 11th - Bogboy in Axis Theatre in Ballymun. I haven't seen it but it seems to have received good reviews.
Friday 11th - Fight Night is on in the Mill Theatre in Dundrum. It'll also be on in Axis Theatre on 17th November, with a Dinner Theatre special of €25 for the show and a three-course meal.
Monday 14th - Tyranny in Beckett: Catastrophe, As the Story was Told, Rough for Radio II, What Where in the recently reopened Smock Alley Theatre. The theatre company behind this is called Mouth on Fire and were (so their website says) set up last year to "bring Beckett to the general public and make his work accessible to those who may never have had a chance to experience it before". Good, good, more of that kind of thing. The play continues until Sunday 20th. Oh, and one of the nice things about Smock Alley is that it's nearby to the Ormond Wine Bar, which last time I checked sells a bottle of red for just €9.50 or so.
Monday 21st - Druid Theatre will be in the Gaiety with their production of John B. Keane's Big Maggie: "Set in 1960s rural Ireland, Big Maggie is a compelling portrait of a woman who is determined to take control of her life following the death of her husband. Shocking for its time – the play premiered in 1969 – the portrait that Keane painted of the dark side of Irish family life seems now to be eerily prescient." Runs until 26th November.
Friday, November 4, 2011
“I have always been a huge fan of the Crash Ensemble; I am inherently trustful of ensembles that are co-piloted by composers and performers…I am hugely honored to be one of the newest commissionees.” Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly's new work for Crash Ensemble was commissioned using funds provided by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Nico Muhly- How About Now
Missy Mazzoli - Still Life With Avalanche
Sean Friar- Velvet Hammer
Timothy Andres- Crashing Through Fences
Ken Ueno- ...blood blossoms...
Nico Muhly- It Goes Without Saying
Nico Muhly- New Commission WORLD PREMIERE
Nico Muhly Public interview
Pre-show public interview of Nico Muhly by Bernard Clarke, RTÉ Lyric fm
|Courtesy of Noilin O'Kelly|
|Courtesy of Noilin O'Kelly|
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Family tickets: €15 (two adults and up to four children)
Adult admission: €5.50
Concessions and children over seven: €4.50
Children under seven: free
Well done to St Patrick's. I think it's great to see this sort of open and inviting use of such venues.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Here's part of what Ergodos have to say about this show:
“It is this transcendentalism that has captured the aural imagination of several young composers. All the Ends of the Earth showcases three Irish composers who have found inspiration in the clarity of Léonin’s constructions, and the quality of his simple materials: Garrett Sholdice’s work represents a new and personal conceptualization of Léonin’s forms; Benedict Schlepper-Connolly’s language resonates with the austerity of Léonin – Schlepper-Connolly continuously re-shapes, and strips away, searching for an essence; Linda Buckley’s slow-burning, almost gothic works invoke the muscular harmonic world of medieval organum.”
In case you're wondering, very little actually seems to be known about Léonin. His music stands on its own, with almost no biographical story to accompany it.
Tickets cost €15/€10 and the performance is on at 8 PM.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
The menus are actually running each evening FROM 7pm* not before and they are running concurrently with A la Carte menus. You will be given a choice of choosing from the specific Dine In Dublin Menu or you can choose to select from their traditional menu.
*Some menus are running for longer.
Personally I'm delighted to see that some of the Dine in Dublin offers are for only €15 or €20, as I'd previously thought that the €25 to €30 price range just wasn't much of a special offer in many cases.
I'd recommend L'Gueuleton, Ely, Saba, and/or the Unicorn (only €25!). I'm a little disappointed to see that Le Mere Zou isn't listed.
The Grand Canal Theatre is to change its name to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from 7th March 2012, according to reports this lunch time. Is this a joke? Bord Gáis only recently put up their prices again for domestic customers and yet they have the money to sponsor a name-change of a theatre for the next 6 years? I can't imagine this will do their PR image any good. Apparently though, the deal includes discounts on tickets for BG customers and the GCT will switch to Bord Gais for the energy supply. Hopefully there won't be quite so many texts as from O2 re:
**Due to the unprecedented weather last night, the Ballsbridge Inn is flooded and closed. Gaelcon has been moved to the concert hall part of the RDS, on the corner of Anglesea Rd and Merrion Rd. It's not up on the website yet but apparently it's not a joke. I'll keep an eye on their twitter feed for any further information.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
So what restaurants are taking part this year? There's a big list this year. Highlights for me would be Fallon & Byrne and Dada. There's a quite a few in suburbs this year too. On that list, I like Washerwoman's Hill in Glasnevin and Essence in Swords. You do need to mention Dine in Dublin when you reserve at table, and it has to be before 7pm, which I think is not terribly in the spirit of the whole thing. Over all, though it's a great way to try out restaurants you haven't eaten in before.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
The Wild Bride channels old folktales about the tribulations and triumphs of the female spirit. The roles are archetypal and nameless: the important, near Freudian, dual masculine of The Father/The Prince, the threefold self of The Girl/The Wild/The Woman, The Devil and The Musician. The limited cast are reminiscent of mystery plays or mummers. At no point is the audience allowed to forget that this is a play, a story. Folktale motifs appear here and there throughout the tripartite set, the events are narrated in skillful rhyme by the Devil (magnificent Stuart McLoughlin), and the cast occasionally slams the door in the fourth wall wide open. The dreamlike, timeless stage setting, with its dark, earthy and sepia tones, interacts well with the red opulence of the Gaiety Theatre. The spectator is moved slightly out of time and place.
The cast are remarkably multitalented. Acting aside, the roles involve dancing, live music and singing. The music is a heady mix of gospel, jazz, ragtime, blues and folk. The singing is as good as it can be in a theatre environment, with Audrey Brisson (The Girl) in particular producing unearthly chants from such a small frame.
"I didn't think theatre came that good in this country," remarked my rather cynical companion as we were leaving. As it happens, Kneehigh are based in Cornwall. Full points to the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival for bringing them to us. I for one will keep keeping an eye on this company and agree with my companion who proceeded to announce, "I'd travel for them."
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
As part of it, they have a "Back to our Past" show, which is for all you budding genealogists out there. Now, I'm far from over 50 but I have done a lot of work in tracing my ancestry. I haven't been in previous years but I am going this year. It will feature all the major genealogy organisations working in Ireland like the National Archives, the National Library, Eneclann, Who do you think you are magazine, Irish Roots magazine, Roots Ireland, Ancestry, Find My Past. I could go on. They also have an extensive lecture program which will feature various famous genealogists (for certain values of famous!) Unfortunately, most of the really good ones are on Friday, when those of us under 50 will be at work. I'm particularly interested to hear the talk on how they film Who do you think you are? and one about getting the best from newspapers. This event is also €10 to get in - it's not clear if it's the same tenner or a second one. You can get a an advance ticket for a fiver from Irish Genealogy News and there's also online booking. Happy Hunting!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
|Kildare St side of Leinster House|
I did a tour of Leinster House today, as part of Open House. We were allowed to take photos, so I took all of them. It was fantastic. I was so much more impressed than the time I was there before, aged 10 on a school trip.
We were first addressed by an OPW architect who gave us a very good, quick history of the house. It was built by the Earl of Kildare, James FitzGerald in the 1740s and designed by Richard Castle. He wanted a townhouse, and chose the then unfashionable side of the city. Merrion Square was not yet built and that side basically faced the countryside. He was created the first Duke of Leinster in 1766 and with his wife, Lady Emily Lennox, a daughter of the Duke of Richmond, they had 19 children, including Lord Edward FitzGerald. She was also descended from a illegitimate child of Charles II. The house was renamed Leinster House at this stage, having earlier been called Kildare House. It's a Palladian house, just like Carton, their county seat, and Castletown House in nearby Celbridge, the home of Lousia, Emily's sister, and her husband, William Connolly, the Speaker of the House (in the Irish Parliament). Symmetry is very important in Palladian architecture, so there are a lot of dummy doors and blind panels to balance rooms. The original house is actually only two rooms wide, with a central corridor running down each floor. You can see from the Seanad chamber directly down to the door into the Dáil chamber if the doors are open. I tested this by sitting in the Cathaoirleach's chair! Our guide throughout the building was just brilliant. He's a parliamentary usher and knew everything. Even more impressive was the fact that he was entirely self-taught. Apparently, they get no book to learn off!
After the 1798 rebellion, the fortune of the Leinsters declined and the house was boarded up. In 1815, it was purchased by the Royal Dublin Society. It remained in their hands until a certain Michael Collins decided to lease some of it from them for the 3rd Dáil and eventually the State purchased it from them. The National Library and Museums on either side of Leinster House replaced the original kitchen and stable blocks. It was a rare treat to be able to get a front view of the Library from the courtyard in front of it and of Leinster Lawn. The 3 sections along with the Natural History Museum were originally all interconnected but these access points were sealed up after it became the home of the parliament. Side point, they originally wanted the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham for the Dáil but the British army took a while getting out of it.
|Stairs up to Dáil chamber|
The Dáil chamber itself is much smaller than it looks on TV. It has a full set of original Malton Dublin prints (worth a fortune). Other art of note is the Taoiseach's gallery, featuring all those now retired from the house - hence's Bertie's only went up recently because he was a sitting TD until February. Cowan's hasn't been done yet. There's a painting of Countess Markiewicz, done by Lavery (I reckon) and an original copy of the Proclaimation, signed by our second President, Sean T. O'Ceallaigh. The internal corridor is lined with paintings and photos of Ceann Comhairles, Cathaoirleachs and other important people. Nowhere near enough women on those walls but as they say, our time will come. I like to imagine that all these portraits can talk, Hogwarts-style, no doubt helped by the Wesht Wing column in Phoenix Magazine, where a portrait of Collins regularly talks to Enda.
The Seanad Chamber, which I don't think I'd ever seen before, looks like someone let Josiah Wedgwood loose, but in a good way. We also saw the Cabinet room, the member's library and various other little antechambers, as well as the Leinster House 2000 extension, which is an 11 year old sympathetic, light and airy building, despite being mostly underground.
|View of the central corridor between the two chambers|
|Ceiling over the Cathaoirleach's chair in the Séanad chamber|
|Note the upside E in the original Proclaimation|
|O'Ceallaigh's note about it - as Gaeilge.|
|Leinster House 2000|